How to Deal with Conflict and Upset

Here is the way I deal with my kids upset when it occurs at home:

I Calm Myself: I think to myself; “I am safe. I can handle this. Show your child what calm looks like.”

I Connect with my Child: I move closer slowly. I make eye contact. I smile gently. I touch an arm. I give a hug. I show empathy with my face and body.

I get Curious: I think, “I wonder what’s going on for my child. I wonder how they are feeling?”I Label emotions: I say, “It seems like you are _______ (angry, sad, frustrated).”

I Give Space for my child to speak: After I label the emotion. I take a pause from speaking and I listen.

I Reflect and Empathize with what I hear: You wanted X and that didn’t happen. That sounds upsetting/hard/frustrating/disappointing.

I Give More Space: I breathe and listen and invite expression.

I Validate: I say, “I understand. That makes sense. I can see why you are upset.”

I Give More Space: I breathe and listen

I Support and Empower: I say, “How can I help you?. What do you think you can do now? What is the next step?

I Work with my Child: Together we find a solution.

I Guide the process so that it is safe, healthy and constructive. I might say, “Okay, that’s an option, let’s talk about some other options. What do you think a good solution for everyone is”?

I Trust the Process

I wanted to give some verbiage to the process so that you could see some of the actual words I use. However, this is not an exact script to follow. Don’t feel the need to copy this. Use it as a reference. Practice it. Adapt it as you see fit. Make it your own. Take what is helpful. 

Does this makes sense. Do you know why each step is there?

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